Prague Spring Launches The Viktor Kalabis and Zuzana Růžičková Prize
PRAGUE SPRING INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION LAUNCHES THE VIKTOR KALABIS AND ZUZANA RŮŽIČKOVÁ PRIZE
The Prague Spring International Music Festival announces that a new annual prize will be awarded in its competition to be called: “The Viktor Kalabis and Zuzana Růžičková Prize.”
The new award will support young artists and encourage their performances in the international concert world. The first awardee will be the winner of the clarinet contest in May 2020, who will receive a prize of US$ 1,500 with up to a further US$ 8,500 being provided to support performances by the winner of compositions by Viktor Kalabis.
The prize has been named to honour the Czech harpsichordist Professor Zuzana Růžičková (1927-2017) and her husband, the composer Viktor Kalabis (1923-2006). “It is a great honour and joy for the Prague Spring to commemorate the artistic legacy of this extraordinary couple in the Prague Spring Competition,” said the festival’s director Roman Bělor.
“The unique character of the prize lies in its two-part division, which combines a direct financial award to the laureate plus support of their artistic career,” noted Aleš Březina, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Viktor Kalabis and Zuzana Růžičková Endowment Fund (Prague, Czech Republic). He explained, “In total US$ 10,000 will be provided each year. The winner will receive US$ 1,500 directly and our Fund will provide a further US$ 8,500 so that the winner is able to perform compositions by Viktor Kalabis before international audiences.”
Zuzana Růžičková and Viktor Kalabis made extraordinary musical contributions in their home country and internationally (for full details please visit www.kalabismusic.org). Support for the new prize is provided by the Prague-based Viktor Kalabis and Zuzana Růžičková Endowment Fund and by the Viktor Kalabis and Zuzana Růžičková Foundation (Washington DC, USA).
The 72nd edition of the Prague Spring International Music Competition will be held from 7 to 15 May. The first round of the clarinet category will take place on 9 and 10 May at the National House in Prague-Vinohrady; the second round will be conducted in the Martinů Hall of the Academy on 12 May. The final will be concluded on 14 May from 6 p.m. in the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum, accompanied by the Prague Philharmonia under the baton of Chuheie Iwasaki. The Viktor Kalabis and Zuzana Růžičková Prize will be presented together with the main prizes of the competition on 15 May at 11 a.m. in the Brožík Assembly Hall of Prague’s Old Town Hall.
Emily Vogl, Chair of the U.S.-based foundation stated: “We are enormously appreciative of the leadership of the Prague Spring Music Festival Competition and our sister foundation in Prague for launching this new prize, which we believe will encourage young artists to become far more familiar with Viktor Kalabis’s many wonderful compositions.”
Prague Spring Festival director Roman Bělor stated: “The Festival has featured many performances of the works of Viktor Kalabis. Moreover, Prof. Zuzana Růžičková took to the Prague Spring stage in innumerable artistic creations and ranks among the historically most performing protagonists of the festival. Her merits also include her active interest in the character of the festival and especially its competitive part, whose modern form she co-developed for many long years both as a leading figure of the Permanent Competition Commission and as a member and chairwoman of competition juries. The Prague Spring thus continues to equate her name with a benchmark of artistic mastery and human values.”
The Viktor Kalabis and Zuzana Růžičková Endowment Fund was established in 2000 and its U.S. sister foundation was launched in 2006. Both organizations support recording projects, concert organisers, and artists who advance the artistic legacy of its founders. The U.S. foundation has sponsored the award-winning documentary film about Zuzana and Viktor titled – “Zuzana: Music Is Life.” The Prague-based fund hosts an annual memorial concert for Prof. Zuzana Růžičková. In 2018, it launched the Endowment Fund Prize at the Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague where the 2019 laureate was the violinist Jan Mráček.
Zuzana Růzičková’s memoir, written in conjunction with Wendy Holden, – One Hundred Miracle: A Memoir of Music and Survival – was published in English, Czech and German in 2019 and further language editions will be published in 2020.